Creating Intricate Patterns

Jim Grieco

PRO Member

Please bear with me while I try to explain (lol)
I have the WoodturnerPro software suite which is what I use to design segmented works.
I would like to design intricate patterns from scratch and am wondering if there is an easy way or proper steps to take to determine how many pieces per ring/number of rings I will need to create the design I want?
With the software, I can design the shape with X amount of pieces/rings and then go to the paint feature and choose the woods to use to form the pattern. However, if I get to a point and realize that my design is not matching up with the number of pieces/rings (too many or not enough pieces/rows do not create the design. So. I have to start all over and add/subtract pieces/rings.
Is this normal or is there an easier way?
Again, hope this is making sense and I want to continue using the software.



Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi Jim
Since the suite of software covers all of Lloyd's software it would be helpful if you stated if you are using WTP (WoodTurner Pro) or (SP) Segment Pro.
* If you paint a design in SP and then change the number of segments per ring, the software will get confused and mess up.
SP is rules based and limits what you can do to the rings.
* WTP you can have different number of segments per ring.

Q1: without knowing your design it will be hard to give a detailed answer as to number of pieces per ring and the number of rings.
- The smaller the SEL (large number of segments per ring ) the finer the detail can be.
- The thinner the ring the finer the detail can be.

Q2: If you are using SP do not change the number of segment per ring if you have painted a design. If you do you basically have to start over, clear everything. It has to do how SP keeps track of the segments when "painting them".
WTP gives you much more control over each ring (number of segments and thickness). It is not as easy to paint the design as it is in SP. But SP does not give you flexibility to control each ring.

There are times I have painted a design in SP. Then rebuilt the project in WTP. Because of different database structure designs from SP/WTP cannot be directly transfered into the other program.

You may want to draw out your design on graph paper and then see the best way to paint it in the software.

I suspect you know this if your design has a 0.25 inch thick by 1" wide color in one area. That can be made up of two 0.125 thick pieces by 4 0.25" wide pieces. My point the smaller the SEL (Segment Edge Length and thinner rings allows for more detail.

Take a look at some of Tom Lohman's work

Jim Grieco

PRO Member
Thank you for trying to help. I realize it is difficult for me to explain what I am asking. All I am asking is if there is an easy way to design a pattern than going to SP, design the shape/number of pieces/etc then use the paint option to design the pattern. I want to design from scratch. If I go to SP and create the shape, choose the number of pieces per ring then go to the paint option, I find that I have to keep starting over because I have either too many pieces per row or not enough. * Recently I was trying to create a design but ended up with a few extra pieces on one side of the patten (using the paint option in SP) which of course did not balance out. This is probably a question that cannot be answered but I was hoping there are some guidelines, tips or tricks to help. I am sure over time I will learn what I can do with a 48-piece ring vs. a 144-piece ring design but right now I do not.
*I have never tried painting in WP and didn't even know that was an option. I always use SP.
*I am not sure why you want me to look at Tom's work. However, I have a set of his plans and have made a piece using the plans. See pic.

Thanks for your help


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Super Moderator
Staff member
I would suggest draw out the design on graph paper. Then decide how you want to divide it up.
One thing about SP, it is quick to clear the pattern and start over. Beats using an eraser.

I generally will decide how many times I want the pattern to repeat. If it is 4 times then I would want the number of segments per ring to be divisible by 4.

Depending on the pattern you can always laminate different colors together to cut segments from. I suspect you know that.

reason I mention TomL was I was not sure if you have seen some of his detailed work.

In SP, in general you cannot adjust each ring individually. WTP you can.
In WTP you can select a segment, right click to bring up the wood species list and select what you want. It is not near as visual as SP.

Without seeing an example type not sure what more I can add.

Have fun.